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« World Cup memories | Main | Great British Pub Awards 2010 »

All this and Lembit too

It was standing room only at our Voices of Freedom debate last night with around 60 people squeezed into the IEA conference room. Hosted by The Free Society and Big Brother Watch, the subject was "Big Government is Watching You: the surveillance state and individual freedom".

Speakers included Phil Booth, national coordinator of NO2ID; Alex Deane, director of Big Brother Watch; and journalist Ross Clark, author of The Road to Southend Pier. (Ross used to write a regular column in The Spectator called 'Banned Wagon'. I reminded him that the last time we met, at a Spectator Summer Party, he invited me to play for his village cricket team!)

Best of all, perhaps, because it meant we had a proper debate, was Philip Davies MP who stirred things up with a passionate defence of surveillance cameras and other tools of what some might call the Big Brother state.

Indeed, things got a bit fiery as Alex Deane, in particular, responded like the former World Debating Champion he is.

Chairing the debate, blogger Iain Dale (above) still found time to post these tweets:

Pretty good event, I thought, and good to see some of the regular visitors to this blog - Dave Atherton, Dick Puddlecote and Rose Whiteley. (Thanks once again to Boisdale for supplying the wine.)

As Iain mentions in his tweet, Lembit Opik was in the audience and afterwards I booked him (provisionally) to perform his new stand-up comedy routine at the Smoke On The Water boat party on July 14. Now if that doesn't encourage you to book your ticket, nothing will!!

Next Voices of Freedom debate is on Tuesday June 15 - "Is a Big Society a Free Society?"

PS. I got home at 12.30. It's now 7.00am and I am about to drive to Bristol. Things could be a little quiet around here today ...

Reader Comments (2)

Last night was quite superb, erudite, thought provoking and passionate. It really was standing room only for the knowledgeable audience and Boisdale's wine was outstanding. About 20 of us the decamped to the pub to continue the debate and I also got home at 12.30 too.

If you can make it, it's well worth the effort.

June 11, 2010 at 9:21 | Unregistered CommenterDave Atherton

They can talk about freedom as much as they please because it will not do the world of good unless now there is a revolution. The agenda was set in this country years ago to standardise all the population within the EU. Hence the health fanatisim and control freakery. The traitors and cowards no matter what government have sold our soul to the Devil. Forget reversing the smoking ban it will never happen.
Come back Queen Elizabeth 1. I am sure her axe man would be very busy now.

June 11, 2010 at 18:48 | Unregistered CommenterPeter James

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